Medicare Is Not Your Savior

Vermont Representative Peter Welch says that if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act, Democrats should begin to push for universal Medicare:

“If the Supreme Court rules against Obamacare, we have to have a substantive policy and political response — in my view, that’s Medicare for All,” Welch said. “Medicare is very popular. People understand it.” […]

“If we argue for Medicare for All, it would reinforce our commitment to Medicare and highlight the Republican plan to turn it into a voucher system and unravel it,” Welch continued.

I’m not sure why anyone thinks that liberals would be more successful if they take a different approach to universal health care. If Welch agrees that the Supreme Court has become unprecedentedly partisan in its dealings and will join the Republican Party in its opposition to Democratic initiatives, then there’s no reason to think that Medicare-for-all would survive a constitutional challenge.

Yes, you could argue that since Medicare is already constitutional, why would the Court rule against a larger Medicare program? But if Republicans were to muster constitutional arguments against universal Medicare—and it’s almost certain that they would—then, as GOP partisans, conservatives on the Supreme Court would quickly adopt them.

To repeat a point from earlier this week, if the Supreme Court is as partisan as liberals think it is, then there’s no way that universal health care—in any form—survives a constitutional challenge.